Perhaps the end of Microsoft Messenger is not quite so near after all. Microsoft will be turning off Messenger on March 15th as previously planned. However, it will only be part of a “test group.” The service will actually only be cut off for that day only.
Most users of Messenger have likely have already heard the pronouncements that the service will be coming to an end. As part of the planned transition of Messenger to Skype, Microsoft had been getting out the message that Messenger will come to an end on March 15. As part of communicating the coming change, Microsoft previously made an announcement regarding the end of the service, to all Windows Messenger Live users. Microsoft explained the transition by stating the following:
“On 15th March 2013 we are retiring the existing Messenger service globally (except for mainland China where Messenger will continue to be available) and bringing the great features of Messenger and Skype together. Update to Skype and sign in using a Microsoft Account (same as your Messenger ID) and all your Messenger contacts will be at your fingertips. You’ll be able to instant message and video chat with them just like before, and also discover new ways of staying in touch with Skype on your mobile and tablet.”
Despite the previous announcement however, Microsoft has now confirmed that the March 15th date is only the beginning of the transition. Instead, the actual transition for English speaking countries from Messenger to Skype will begin April 8th. Messenger is still expected to work on mobile devices and in multi-network clients such as Adium. However, even that is not expected to last for long. While Messenger fans may enjoy the few extra days granted to them, the end is still near. Perhaps Microsoft hopes that the more gradual denouement will provide users with an easier transition to Skype.